[Mexican Painter, 1907-1954]
Frida was born July 6, 1907 in the town of Coyoacán, Mexico
Frida Kahlo survived many difficult events in her life, including contracting polio as a child, then endured years of further pain following a serious road accident-
When Frida was 18, she was hurt in a bus accident, her spine, pelvis, and foot were broken. This left her living with constant pain, never really gaining full recovery and years later, saw many other complications set in! She found the courage to live by painting. She painted the things that were important to her -Frida painted with the same bold courage that helped her to survive. two failed marriages, and several miscarriages.
She used these experiences, combined with strong Mexican and Native American cultural influences, to create highly personal paintings. Her world of art was filled with her feelings and much colour. Those special moments, her dreams and vivid imagination. It also allowed her the freedom to express her own pain, as she once said; “We all own our own pain”. Submitting her work to fellow artist, Diego Rivera, he soon became her husband, marrying in 1928. Their marriage was a turbulent one, his temperament and infedilities all that stood between them, and yet Frida remained by his side, the artistic style often the basis of work for the suffering and pain of other women. Inevitably, the marriage broke down after she learned of his betrayal with her sister, the pair divorced in 1939. Kahlo used personal symbolism mixed with Surrealism [see NOTE]to express her suffering through her work, painting to occupy her time during recovery. A viewer might classify her paintings as Surrealism or Magic Realism, but she considered her art to be realistic.
Kahlo died July 13, 1954 of pulmonary embolism, Diego stayed by her side until the end.
Art /History: Surrealism: (1924 – 1955)
A literary and art movement inspired by Freudianism, Andre Breton founded Surrealism in Paris in 1924. Breton authored the Manifesto (Manifeste du surrealisme), which advocated the expression of imagination revealed in dreams. He later wrote two other manifestoes, published in 1930 and 1934. Surrealism was the successor the Dadaist movement and attracted many Dadaist artists. Other Surrealist origins came from painters such as Paolo Uccello, William Blake, and Odilon Redon. Its origins in literature were traced to French poets Baudelaire, Rimbaud, and Apollinaire and the literary side of the movement remained primarily in France. In the visual realm, Surrealism became popular in the 1920’s and 30’s with the help of internationally renowned painter, Salvador Dali.
Also similar to the 19th century Symbolist movement, Surrealism was based on the psychoanalytic theories of Sigmund Freud and Carl Jung, emphasizing imagination and subconscious imagery. Work usually contained realist imagery arranged in a nonsensical style in order to create a dreamlike state. Surrealist painting incorporated a lot of content and technique. Surrealism incorporated and celebrated the art of children and primitive art. They appreciated the innocent eye in that the untrained artist was more liberated to depict their actual imaginative ideas
Artists used spontaneous techniques based on the “free association” concept, also called automatism, in which conscious control was surrendered to the unconscious mind. . The Surrealist movement can be divided into two groups of differing expressive methods, Automatism or “Absolute” Surrealism and Veristic Surrealism. While Automatism was focused on expressing subconscious ideas, Veristic Surrealists wanted to represent a connection between abstract and real material forms. In other words, Verists transformed objects from the real world in their paintings, while Automatists derived their imagery purely from spontaneous thought.
Surrealism paved the way for later movements such as Abstract Expressionism and the Magic Realism. Surrealism offered an alternative to geometric abstraction and kept expressive content alive in the 20th century.